Chris and Jim:

Chris Tyrell and Jim Searle started Hoax Couture in 1985 without formal fashion training

Chris was trained as a lawyer and Jim as an architect.

Giving Back - Dare to Wear Love

Dare to Wear Love 2010 from Will Cyr on Vimeo.

Dare to Wear Love is an annual gala fashion event and fundraiser started by Jim Searle and Chris Tyrell, designers and founders of Hoax Couture, with a twofold goal: to raise funds and awareness for the Stephen Lewis Foundation in its support of grassroots organizations fighting the AIDS pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa; in addition the event is to promote the amazing talents of Canada’s fashion design community, and their commitment to making a difference in the world.

At a chance meeting in June of 2009 between the Hoax Couture designers and Ilana Landsberg- Lewis, the Executive Director of the Foundation the designers learned of the work the Foundation does to support AIDS orphans and the grandmothers who so often raise them. Immediately they were seized with the conviction that they could help - particularly Tyrell who was orphaned at an early age and raised by his grandmother.

The team asked 24 of Canada’s top fashion designers to create an outfit using six yards of African cloth to be shown on the runway. Robin Kay of the Fashion Design Council of Canada and LG Fashion Week, beauty by L’Oreal Paris came on board as a major sponsor and the event was suddenly in full swing.

The bulk of the first event was created in only two months, and as a minor miracle of philanthropy, virtually all aspects of the show were donated - from graphic design to printing, digital animation to staging, performance to models, catering to decor - the event was created and came together as a truly memorable evening. Celebrity models included Olivia Chow, Jully Black, Jessi Cruickshank and Traci Melchor. The Nathaniel Dett Chorale opened the evening, and Groupe Soume gave a rousing drum performance in the show.

The incomparable Salah Bachir and Cineplex Media stepped up as title sponsor and an incredible event was rolled out to an enthusiastic and appreciative crowd of A-list celebrities and Toronto’s fashion aficionados including Jian Ghomeshi, Molly Johnson, Chris Hyndman and Steven Sabados, Jarvis Church, Tre Armstrong and Jean Marc Genereux.

In 2009, the people who attended left with the feeling that they had experienced something rare and beautiful, an outpouring of talent and goodwill that was free of cynicism, had real meaning, and was not maudlin or preachy about the cause.

For 2010, an even more spectacular event is in the works for Dare to Wear Love 2. As the closing event of LG Fashion Week Beauty by L’Oreal Paris on October 22nd, Dare to Wear Love will bring together the worlds of fashion, music and dance to create a meaningful, beautiful and fun event. Bank of Montreal and Cineplex Media are our primary sponsors.

The intent of DTWL is to raise awareness and funds for the plight of the millions of people, especially grandmothers and orphans, who are living with the effects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa. DTWL builds support, recognition and goodwill for the Canadian fashion community, and at the same time it literally saves lives in Africa by supporting the Stephen Lewis Foundation and the 300+ projects that it funds in 15 countries.

To learn of the incredible work that the Foundation does to assist those in need, please visit their website:

Designers who will participate in the 2010 Dare to Wear Love show include:

Adrian Wu * Avioanni * Brian Bailey * Damzels In This Dress * David Dixon * Evan Biddell * Comrags, * Farley Chatto * Fashion Crimes * Franke, * Hoax Couture * Ines Di Santo * Izzy Camilleri * Jason Meyers * Kimina * Lida Baday * Linda Lundstrom * Lovas * Lucian Matis * Northbound Leather * Pat McDonagh * Reva Mivasgar, * Nada * Peach Berserk * Ula Zukowska * Wayne Clark * Zoran Dobric


Dare to Wear Love  416-504-7132